„Conspiracy theory“: What lies behind this expression? – An attempt at explanation – Part 1

How the term loses its meaning

I never thought that I would have to publish a contribution of this kind, but the social discourse and the current reporting of the big media houses literally force me to do so. The almost inflationary use of the word „conspiracy theorist“ and „conspiracy theory“ in the headlines, articles and comments seems almost grotesque to me. This term is overused to such an extent that its actual meaning has long since been lost in the fog of madness – in historical linguistics we speak of extension of meaning; the extreme form is called emptying of meaning.

In the „alternative“ or „free“ media, this term is already regarded as a knighthood, because these days everyone is called a conspiracy theorist who achieves a certain range with his or her work on YouTube or other platforms such as blogs and independent magazines, so that it becomes relevant and whose videos are then deleted.

Important note

First of all, there is one more important thing to note: In this article follows a whole range of links and sources. I have not studied all sources in their entirety and emphasize that I do not agree in principle with all statements and contents of the videos and articles, nor do I find their content particularly good. They only serve as an illustration or individual proof of my statements made here in this article.

Merkel is a reptiloid and the earth is flat, hole and only a simulation

If you hear the term „conspiracy theory“ today, then terms like the section headline shows, often in the same but mostly in the next breath. Different parts of different „theories“ float incoherently around in our heads, but they are rarely ordered. But what is the point of order? These are things only fools deal with. It is enough to know that this is all nonsense.

The attitude of many people towards these so-called „conspiracies“ often seems to me to be something like this. Most of them really only know the most unusual theories and these only superficially. Be it the „flat-earth-theory“, the counterpart with the hole earth, reptiloids, the thing with the deepstate or the threat of a Jewish world domination; only the heaviest fare for fantasy and faith is given to people as representative examples for „conspiracy theories“. Reason enough to consistently stay away from all these things.

But few know what it means in the true sense, who introduced it, and what purpose it serves, in my opinion, primarily. I would now like to shed light on all these things step by step. I hope you have brought time, patience and an open mind.

About the term: „conspiracy theory“

Let us first take a brief look at the term as such: It consists of the parts „conspiracy“ and „theory“. Meyer’s Großes Konversationslexikon gives the following definition for the term „conspiracy“:

„Conspiracy“ (Conjuratio), secret connection for bringing about a revolution (see d.), called so by the oath, by which usually the conspirators commit themselves to the execution and secrecy of the plan („conspire“). From the standpoint of the existing state and its legal system, the V [conspiracy] appears to be a punishable beginning. Cf. political crimes.“

Thus, according to this definition, a conspiracy is a revolutionary act that is covertly planned by several people and endangers the state order.

Now I could use many definitions from different encyclopedias for the term theory. To keep a certain transparency, I recommend everyone to look up the term in the dictionary network or in the next available dictionary. For the sake of uniformity, I will again refer to Meyer’s Großes Konversationslexikon, whose definition of „theory“ I present here only in excerpts, because the article is relatively detailed:

„In logic, T[theory], in contrast to empiricism (see „experience„), is understood to be the derivation of a single phenomenon (e. g. the rainbow) or of a whole class of phenomena (the light phenomena in general) from general laws. …] The striving of the sciences is everywhere directed towards supplementing empiricism with theory, using hypotheses if necessary in the absence of proven basic laws.

In the latter case, of course, the whole theory itself is only of hypothetical value […]. If, however, the empiricist often underestimates the achievements of the theorist because of this, it must be remembered that, once its fundamentals have been established with certainty, theory is far superior to empiricism in that it often succeeds in showing a connection between apparently very distant phenomena, in predicting future phenomena and in prescribing to technology new ways and means of achieving certain results.“

In science, but also in criminology, suppositions or assumptions about certain facts are called hypotheses. If several hypotheses are formulated under the same conditions, a theory can emerge. These theories are necessary in science as well as in criminology to plan and structure mental steps and their practical verification.

Theories are true from a scientific point of view as long as they meet certain criteria and are not replaced by a superior theory. Which theory is considered „superior“ to which is always a matter of opinion for individual researchers. That we regard certain theories as „true“ is actually a premature fallacy. Ask a mathematician how complex it is to provide a real proof. Have fun, just saying.

For example, the theories of evolution or the big bang are still only theories today. But in our minds they are very real, because we haven’t found any better ones yet. Furthermore, many people in this world do not believe in these theories. Who is now right, is not yet finally proven.

If you now put both terms together, then the term „conspiracy theory“ means the following in my interpretation: A conspiracy theory is a logical arrangement of single hints, which in its totality is a more or less strong presumption for a secret rebellion against the existing (state) order.

From the perspective of a government or the heads of state, a conspiracy theory is therefore quite dangerous, since it can lead to the emergence of a revolting force. If we look back in human history, it is in some ways determined by a change of various forms of rule, the overthrow of which was usually accompanied by rebellion. Rebellions are often quite uncomfortable matters for those in power. For this reason, all attempts to do so should be stopped immediately or prevented.

But when did this term become so important in modern history?

The September 11 attacks – the mother of modern conspiracy theories

Like so many things that play an essential role in modern contemporary history, the thing with conspiracy theories began to go global with the attacks of September 11.

Two planes brought down three towers. A short time later, the case is crystal clear from the perspective of the American government: terrorists.

Huh, what?! Uh, excuse me? Two planes but three towers? Right. Not everyone is aware that on this catastrophic day not only the „Twin Towers“ collapsed, but also building number 7 (see illustration: 7 WTC).


The official report („9/11 Commission Report“) did not include the collapse of WTC 7. But the WTC 7 is mentioned in another context. Among other things, it housed the „Office of Emergency Management and Interagency Preparedness“ (OEM), i.e. the „Office for Emergency Management and Interagency Preparedness“ (see also Comission Report: p. 283). This is merely a fact, the importance of which each individual must determine for himself.

If this video from a surveillance camera had not captured the collapse, this would probably have been another black mark on the events of this historic day:

The collapse of such a large building is of course hard to overlook. Nevertheless, the question remains why this collapse was not included in the official version of the events of that day. Questions about it became more and more pressing, however, whereupon the American government commissioned the state science authority NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) to investigate the reason for the collapse of this building, as could already be seen in the video above.

The cause identified by NIST was a fire that jumped from the Twin Towers to WTC 7 and spread to the point where the entire building was engulfed in flames. The heat then destabilized certain support columns, which then collapsed the entire building in freefall.

That is the official story. Shortly after the attacks, even before the Commission Report or the NIST investigation was even started, one thing was clear to the President:

He says here at the UN: „Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the September 11 attacks. Malicious lies that try to divert the blame away from the terrorists themselves, away from the guilty parties. The official introduction of the term „conspiracy theory“. So here, all theories are meant which even take a view that deviates from the governmental opinion into the realm of the possible. These theories, and George Bush makes this clear here, are „malicious lies“.

Much room for speculation

But much more happened that day. Two other planes were also hijacked according to the official account. Their targets were the Pentagon and the White House. Only one plane reached its destination, the other crashed near the Shanksville community.

Much about the events of 9/11 raises questions that were answered in various ways. One man who has tried to get to the bottom of many questions is Elias Davidsson. For those who believe that they are ready to approach this event without prejudice, I recommend the following interview (yes, yes, KenFM again, I know):

However, if this already seems too conspiracy theoretical, I recommend the „serious“ approach. Who accepts that the absence of the collapse of WTC 7 in the „Commission Report“ is an incomprehensible omission, should ask himself how this could have happened? An oversight? Intention? Or simply ignorance?

In order to comply with this omission, the NIST investigation was launched. However, there are also serious doubts about these investigations. If you want to know more, I refer you to the following page: Architects & Engineers for 9/11-Truth.

From an official point of view, there have been no attempts known to me to respond to the criticism of this movement. That is why this movement commissioned the University of Alaska several years ago to conduct a further investigation into the collapse of WTC 7. In September of last year, the University has already published an interim report. Finally in March of this year did the University publish its final report.

The sole purpose of this investigation was to determine whether or not the fire was actually the cause of the collapse of the building. The result is really interesting:

„The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.“
(Hulsey et al. 2020: „A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Center 7“, S. ii).

Attention: Conspiracy theorists!

One scientist who has been working on WTC 7 for a long time is the historian Dr. Daniele Ganser. He too is considered a conspiracy theorist, although his approach is in line with scientific standards. His starting point is solely WTC 7, which has been discussed in detail up to here. All other theories, of which there are of course many, I do not deny, whose most famous representatives are „SURPRISE“, „MIHOP“ and „LIHOP„, are mentioned by him, but are not discussed in detail, because he is solely based on the official, historical facts: The 9/11 Commission Report, the NIST study, and now the new University of Alaska study.

Nevertheless, his research in this area was the reason to give up his position at the renowned ETH in Zurich. According to the Wikipedia entry, which by the way changed again and again in the last years, this was however due to unsatisfactory scientific standards of his work.

Before the „Alaska Study“ was published, Dr. Ganser never committed himself in his lectures. He was content to merely name various aspects which, in his view, are not known to everyone and put them into their historical context. With the publication of the interim report of the „Alaska Study“, however, he resorts to clearer words:

Besides his research on WTC 7, he gives lectures on media, propaganda, secret services and wars. Here is his most recent lecture, which I can recommend:

The hostilities that Dr. Ganser has had to endure since the beginning of his work on September 11 are truly extraordinary in their severity. Here are just two recent examples: (1) „Conspiracy guru Ganser in Munich“ and (2) Conspiracy star loses his teaching position: Daniele Ganser also drops University of St. Gallen. Whether Dr. Ganser is absolutely right with everything he says, I also dare to doubt.

After all, he is only a scientist and thus a person who has a different opinion about the events of that time. I just wonder how a scientific discourse can be so perverted just because he has a different opinion on uncomfortable topics.

One of many

This is just one of the best-known examples of people who ask the wrong questions or point out inconvenient facts and whose reputation has been actively damaged in public as a result. I would now like to give a few more examples of people who were in quite respectable positions, but then fell into disfavor because they switched to the „evil“ side. People who, in my view, are wrongly called „conspiracy theorists“ merely because of their statements that could be a threat to the current majority opinion.

However, I would like to comment on this: I am not necessarily of the opinion of these persons, nor do I sympathize with them without reservation or find all statements or actions good; they are merely all people who share the fate of a Dr. Daniele Ganser to varying degrees:

Wolfgang Herles, journalist and writer: among other journalistic activities, „Herles [spent four years] as head of the ZDF studio in Bonn“. Today he still appears in formats like this one but also at KenFM, which is why newspaper articles of this kind are also dedicated to him.

Eva Hermann, author and presenter: „She was news anchor for the Tagesschau from 1988 to 2006“ . In 2007, for example, she was still a guest of Johannes B. Kerner, where she was already bid farewell by the presenter during the current broadcast. Today she appears at the side of Andreas Popp, who is mainly concerned with economic issues. Together they now form a „conspiracy duo„.

Dirk Pohlmann, filmmaker and publicist: In 2015, Pohlmann produced a critical documentary for „arte“ in which he uncovers a war lie during the Cold War. He also has appearances with KenFM and other „alternative media“ and has been running his own format on „ExoMagazinTV“ with Robert Fleischer and Mathias Bröckers for some time. He was also actively involved in the legal action against Wikipedia, which was launched by him and the other founders of „wikihausen“. He is also considered a conspiracy theorist, especially because of his work on life forms from space.

Mathias Bröckers, journalist and author: As co-founder of the taz, he also published articles in the „Zeit“ and the „Woche“ for a long time. With his questions about 9/11, however, he exposed himself as a conspiracy theorist. In addition, he is committed to an enlightenment around Canabis.

Willy Wimmer, lawyer, policeman and publicist: Not directly disparaged as a „conspiracy theorist“, but thanks to his statements only interviewed and published by these circles, Willy Wimmer occupied high political offices for many years. Between „1985 and 1992 he was first the spokesman for defense policy of the CDU/CSU and then Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Defense. From 1994 to 2000, he served as vice president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)“ (source). Today he speaks out publicly against, for example, the US airbase Ramstein, but was at least interviewed by Austrian formats just a few years ago.

With such a high dignitary, it is indeed difficult to torpedo him in the same way as the other candidates. Another strategy of the big media houses, but one that is almost even more effective, is that of concealment. The only interviews of major media in recent years that I could find are the following: (1) Deutschlandfunk Archive and (2) a short interview at Monitor. Otherwise, he is merely mentioned, but never interviewed directly about his statements. He probably disqualified himself most clearly with his appearances at the AFD.

Socrates, philosopher: This mention is of course rather polemical in nature. Nevertheless, Socrates as a person was quite controversial at the time. He was considered a strange personality, because his main occupation was to walk around and talk to people about his findings. And the views he thus promoted among his interlocutors unfortunately contradicted too much the truth prescribed by the state (cf. B. Russel 1959: Thinker of the Occident. Translated by Károly Földes Papp, p. 52 – 56).

Today, one would probably call him a conspiracy theorist, who used „suggestive questions“ to direct his interlocutors in the direction he wanted them to go. At that time, however, the charge was that he had a corrupting influence on youth and disregarded the gods ((source). Socrates allegedly had the opportunity to deliver a defense speech, which was recorded for posterity in Plato’s famous Apology. Nevertheless, the verdict was death by hemlock potion.

In our time, however, his name is almost synonymous with the pursuit of truth and knowledge. What today could be quickly condemned as a „suggestive question“ is called the „Socratic method“ in the case of Socrates.

What do I want to say? Nothing less than that even a whole state or its government CAN be subject to a collective error at any time, while at the same time an individual is spreading criticism that has proven its partial validity to this day.

Today, fortunately, we no longer have poisonous cups that are administered to rebels, but back then the accused were still heard in person, while nowadays people talk mainly about people and less often with people.

This list was only a small part of a list of people who dared to swim against the current. But there are many more. At the same time, attempts at active denunciation are becoming more audacious and more obvious. But why do these attempts often work so well?

I had to realize that the contribution threatens to become too extensive. For this reason I would like to set a point here for the time being. The topic has many aspects, which all play a role and therefore want to be treated. Therefore I would like to divide the contribution into two parts.

In conclusion, however, I would like to summarize the central points:
I started with the definition of the term „conspiracy theory“ and its two components. Then I have shown since when this term has played a formative role in our contemporary society (keyword Bush & 9/11).

Afterwards I talked about Dr. Ganser, who researched the events around 9/11, focusing on WTC 7. Due to his research he lost several teaching positions and was defamed in public as a conspiracy theorist several times. In March of this year, the „Alaska Study“ confirmed the historian’s assumptions, but this increasingly calls into question the credibility of the official theory.

In conclusion, I named several personalities who suffered the same or similar fate as Daniele Ganser because of their activities and statements.

The second part I will then deal with the question why, in my view, such conflicts between „deviants“ and the „mainstream“ occur. Why are people in a position to have a rock-solid opinion on certain facts due to completely insufficient insights? Where do these opinions come from and why are we not able to reflect on these questions independently?

And by this I do not only mean the self-appointed guardians of the truth of the „mainstream media“, but also those who throw themselves into the wildest worlds of thought, thereby losing touch with their everyday reality and believing everything that fits into the construct they or others have devised – the „real conspiracy theories“.

by Marco Lo Voi

This the english translation of the article:

„Verschwörungstheorie“: Was steckt hinter diesem Begriff? – Ein Erklärungsversuch – Teil 1

Translated with:

Ein Gedanke zu “„Conspiracy theory“: What lies behind this expression? – An attempt at explanation – Part 1

  1. Pingback: „Conspiracy theory“: What lies behind this expression? – An attempt at explanation – Part 2 – Exploring Roots

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